tv News Nation MSNBC February 7, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm PST
>> the white house is willing to negotiate on the is up of requiring employers, including religious institutions to provide health insurance coverage to contraception. in nine of the past ten presidential elections, the skroet has gone to the winner. sign of the times. the president's re-election campaign defending his decision to embrace the pro-obama super pac saying the stakes are two important to play by two different set offense ruefuls. new details on how josh powell planned to take the live offense his two young boys, including boxing up his son's books and toys and taking them to charity. >> i don't think they realized what kind of a person he really was. >> left only 20 minutes before the house fire. los angeles school officials replace the entire staff at an elementary school where two teachers have been charged with
sexually abusing children at that school. i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is following the pressure some catholic leaders are putting on the white house to change its position. there are new signs today that it's open to some type of compromise with one of president's re-election advisors saying the administration is trying to strike a balance to a woman's right to preventive care and freedoms. religious institutions like hospitals or colleges must provide contraceptive coverage. timothy dolan who is president of the u.s. conference of catholic bishops said this is out rageous. >> never before have the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscious.
>> catholics voted for the candidate who won in 2008. 53% of catholics voted for president obama. in 2010, 54% voted republican. joining me now is senior obama campaign advisor, anita dunn. >> thank you for having me on today. >> it would appear the numbers are your honor side when you look at the number of women who are karcatholic. you also look at the number of people who say they could be loyal and follow their faith and still support be use of contraception. why does the white house or administration feel it's necessary to compromise here? >> i haven't heard that the white house is planning to compromise. i think what people have said and what is absolutely true is there is a one-year period to allow institutions to phase us in and figure out the bestway to do it. the facts are very simple.
there are already 28 states that have this requirement including massachusetts, which had this requirement in 2002, and governor romney, who has been attacking the president today on this policy was governor for four years and did nothing to change that because the reality is this is about birth control. it's 2012 and people who work for institutions, women who aren't catholic have right to the same coverage that everybody else in the united states have. it works. it's working in many places right now. over half of the u.s. population lives in one of those 28 states that has this as law already. it's not any kind of radical change from what's gone on before. it's about making sure that women have access to something that the institute of medicine, scientist, medical doctors, nurses believe women should have access to as apartment of their overall health coverage. i think this is one where everybody just needs to take a deep breath, calm down and look
at the facts. >> the fact is that david axelrod said we will look for way to move forward to guarantee women what they need and respect the prerogatives of religious institutions. they don't have to comply until 2013 and then thing s can be worked out. it's something that he was indicating the white house would be willing to talk to these religious leaders and respect the prerogatives of the religious institutions here. >> i think the white house does respect the prerogatives of religious institutions. it's one of reasons why religious institutions are exempted for church, for places. i think what david was referring to was that year that the law is
giving institutions to figure out the bestway to work this so that we do respect the religious institutions, but we also make sure that people who need and deserve the coverage get the coverage. i think that maybe people are reading a little into this, but the reality is that of course, the white house respects religious institutions. it's why there's an exemption in the law to begin with. people that will employ a lot of non-catholics, that they have the same rights that everybody else in the united states have. that's what we're talking about here. we're talking about birth control coverage. >> let me ask you, there are people on the right, some of those who are running for president who say that the white house is going to backtrack here. there's a heated conversation where there was a prediction the white house will backtrack. this was a mistake. perhaps the administration
stepping into quick sand. will there be a change regarding this issue from the white house? >> i can't speak to what people are predicting about the white house. i can speak to what the policy is and what the effects are. what i'd really like to speak to is there is so many people on the right being hypocrite cal about this. he was governor of massachusetts for four years. this policy was in effect in massachusetts ma. there was a mandate. he did nothing to chapg it and as far as i know, he never said anything about it and for him to discover this is a problem really does speak to what his entire candidacy is about which is the political opportunism i can attack the president regarding what my policies have been. >> thank you. >> thank you. joining me more to talk about it
is michael smerconish. i know you were just listening in. what's your take here? will the white house be forced to back away when you have dolan and other high ranking officials really coming out swinging here? >> i think they will back away and change their position. i think it's a significant political matter, but for a different reason. i think there's a tendency to look at the catholic leadership and the catholic church as this entity and draw the conclusion that all catholics are in an uproar over this. i don't think that's the case. 98% of sexually active catholic females use birth control. what i'm suggesting, tamron, is that perhaps the leadership is saying one thing but the members of that church when they get behind the ballot booth curtain, they may not be too thrilled with the leadership of the
church. >> that can be said on many issues. right now there are 28 states with this same rules in effect. half of this country have some kind of similar rule in place when it comes to catholic institutions come plying with this rule on contraception. why is this conversation now being presented as if we're starting from ground zero of it? this has gone on. >> very similar in the argument where you have an individual mandate in massachusetts that's brought on board on the watch of governor romney and all of a sudden when it's the federal government people want to act as if it's different. it's the same principle. i'm thinking about the person who is a methodist, jewish and employed by a het care provider who has a religious affiliation and they will get caught in the switches. where their contraception would have been paid for, that's a benefit they will be denied.
that doesn't seem fair either. >> with the facts you just presented also with mitt romney when he was governor of massachusetts, how can you have these gop candidates getting any traction. romney is saying this is a violation of conscious. gingrich says this is an attack on catholics. santorum says the administration can be hostile to people of faith. how can they get traction on this if the facts are so clear? >> i go back to where i started when i said i think it's a potent political issue but not necessarily because it upsets the catholic base. it's an issue that drives the republican primary voters. ang issue like this is flight their wheel house. i think that's what lies behind all of these headlines. >> thank you very much.
t to official ot susan g. komen foundation has resigned. karen handel acknowledges she supported the decision to pull funding for planned parenthood. she said the process started before she joined the organization last year. several former komen employees have said that handel was the driving force behind the decision to defund planned parent. komen announced that decision last week but later revised. we have big breaking news. major victory for supporters of same sex marriage. an appeals court ruled that proper 8, the state's voter approved ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. the long awaited ruling came down moments ago. it upholds a 2010 ruling that found prop 8 to be in violation. pete williams joins us. i saw you in the last hour. you make the clear distinction here, this is about california, this district. >> yes.
the court seems to go out of its way to limit the effect of the decision to california. the judges say it's an interesting question about whether the constitution prohibits gay marriage in general. they say we're not here to answer that question today. california gave the right to same sex couples to get married and took it away. they say when that happened nothing really changed in in terms of the rights that same sex couples have and they had rights under civil unions to adopt and have children. all the legal rights that go to a married couple would still apply to same sex couples. the court said all that happened is you've taken away the right to use the m word, the marriage word and the state just doesn't have a good enough reason to do that. that violates the constitution to treat those two sets of people differently. it depends on the history of how this came to be in california.
for that reason it narrowly applies to california. why is that important? it may make this and this is what the judges intended, it may make it a less attractive vehicle for the supreme court to take up. the proponents for prop 8, can now take this case to the supreme court but the question is would the supreme court agree to take up this case if it doesn't deal with the gay marriage question in general, and is tied to the specific facts of california. it may make it slightly harder or maybe significantly harder to get the supreme court to take this case. >> thank you very much. also up next, in a dramatic move, the entire staff at an l.a. elementary school, they're being replaced after two teachers are arrested accused of abusing students. why the entire staff need to be removed? that's the question. last month was the most expensive january ever for gas
prices. they are expected to get higher. we have new details on what to pay. why the pentagon says parades welcoming home iraq war vets is not the right thing right now. join our conversation on twitter. [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents: the cold truth. i have a cold. and i took nyquil, but i'm still stubbed up. [ male announcer ] sorry buddy. truth is, nyquil doesn't un-stuff your nose. what? it doesn't have a decongestant. really? [ male announcer ] you need a more complete cold and flu formula,
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welcome back to "news nation." angry parents are protesting outside an l.a. elementary school shut down for the next two days after two teachers were accused of lewd conduct with students. the protest comes on the heel of an emotional meeting between parents and school board officia officials. the entire staff is being temporarily replaced from administrators tojanitors at this school.
these parents are protesting the fact that they feel the staff should have done more to protect children in that school if the allegations are true? >> yeah. that's part of what they are protesting. they are also protesting the fact that who do we trust? they don't know who to trust. at this point what they are worried about is the situation as defined by the two arrests is only tip of the iceberg. we should also be able to say and point out the investigation went for a year before the two arres arrests were made. both of them veteran teachers, nearly 30 years for springer. more than 30 years for burke. burke was suspended and fired last year as the investigation continues. the point that makes it
different from other so called school sex scandals, it was just a lot of piling on and people jumping in and saying it must have happened to and allegation ls of suggestive questioning leading to inindictments that fell apart. because all that time was taken, a lot of evidence was collected. i was told by one source there's dna evidence tieing one teacher to the alleged lewd acts against 23 students. talk about dna acts attached with 7, 8 and 9-year-old children. that's why this case is so shocking. the school has been shut down and as you say, all of teachers, 150, shifted out of this school why the district tries to figure out when and if they can get them back in the school. >> i'm not sure if you can talk about this, you have on many of the blogs a great concern that you have a lot of these students were in low income or minority children at this school. you pointed out this
investigation has been going on for such a long time. there is a concern by some that because these children were not from affluent families and many of them minorities that there may have been some blind eyes there or some negligence. that's also why the parents are outrage. they feel their children were neglected here. >> it has been written about in the blogs. the blog is an adjunct can't be relied upon as being accurate, yet it's out there. there's a lot of talk about that. what a lot of parents are upset about is they say their children were questioned by sheriff's deputies without their knowledge. without the chance to be present. we know from watching law and order on tv there's a requirement that when a minor is being questioned about a criminal case, the parents are brought in too.
i think the sheriff's department were being they were as careful to lead out legitimate, credible testimony from some of these children from something that might become suggestible because they were there in the presence of parents or others as well. the superintendent is supported by his school board and many other parents and the teacher's union. the school is closed for two days. >> thank you very much. greatly appreciate it. coming up, we're learning dwushing details about how josh powell planned the murder of his two boys, even giving away the childr children's toys in the week before he took their lives. the obama campaign announces it will now encourage wealthy donors to give money to the pro-obama super pac. how they are defending this decision. first, today's money minute. here is a look at the market. i'm freaking out man.
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there's no going back. president obama is now giving hi blessing from the pro-obama prosuper pac to raise money the be president has spoken out against the influence of these super pacs. in an e-mail obama campaign manager writes we can't allow for two sets of rules in this election where the republican nominees is the beneficiary of unlited spending and unilaterally disarm. priority usa action raised $4.4 million by tend of last year. two republican super pacs established by carl rove raised $51 million and the pro-romney super pac raised $24 million.
mark murray joins us live. we just showed the graphic. does it boil down to the logic we see when you look at numbers? >> it really does. obama has his big e-mail list. we saw him raise some $750 million in 2008. when the super pacs come in, they can really narrow that financial advantage. when you add the obama campaign and the dnc, you have roughly about $250 million. when you -- with the romney campaign and the rnc, you have $160 million. when the super pacs start coming in, it gets closer to a one to one parity. the obama campaign don't want to disarm unilaterally. >> as our banner says, super switch. might one say super smart.
this is a sign of the times. the game that's being played. we can't allow for two sets of rules. even with all of that said, it does put the president at odds with what he's said in the past. it doesn't mean he doesn't feel that way, but it is a different direction. >> yes. republicans are having a field day with this and certainly it does point to a contradictory set of statements to president obama. you mentioned whether this is smart or not and is the pragmatic approach. some people would put principle over winning. they think you node to run the ball to win championships fp the the rules are changed and makes passing the ball much easier, you'd be doing your side a disservice if you didn't try to pass the ball. that's what they're trying to do with the super pacs. >> you're such a good coach. thank you very much.
>> thanks. >> do you agree with the obama's decision to require religious schools and hospitals to provide employees access to free birth control? that big question is today's "news nation gut check." we'll tell you how you can chime in on this. important from detroit. not so fast. why there's no fall out over the chrysler super bowl ad starring clint eastwood. it has nothing to do with whether it's pat on the back for president obama. it concerns where that commercial was filmed. we'll be right back. oh! [ baby crying ] ♪ what started as a whisper ♪ every day, millions of people choose to do the right thing. ♪ slowly turned to a scream ♪ there's an insurance company that does that, too. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? ♪ amen, omen
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♪ imagine zero pollutants in our environment. or zero dependency on foreign oil. ♪ this is why we at nissan built a car inspired by zero. because zero is worth everything. the zero gas, 100% electric nissan leaf. innovation for the planet. innovation for all. here is what the "news nation" is following right now. >> the real question is how do we get together and resolve this in a way that respects the concerns that have been raised? >> david axelrod suggesting the white house is prepared to compromise on the decision to require religious schools and hospitals to cover birth control for their workers.
we're talking about it and chilling new details, we're learning more about the plan that josh powell put in place to take the lives of his own children. last month turned tout be the most expensive january for gas prices. they're expected to get even higher. is it right to have a welcome home party for iraq war vets? are there still members of the armed forces in afghanistan. the pentagon is weigh in. the obama administration to require religious institutions to require birth control could have an unintended consequence. they said president barack obama has not just give tennessee catholic community a slap in the face, he is telling his pan inio limit our families.
thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> i just read that quote from the president of the latin association of hispanic leader that president obama is slapping in the face of catholic communities. 28 states have a similar rule in place. is that slap in the face from those 28 other states as well? >> absolutely. >> why haven't we been discussing it prior to what decision came down two weeks ago? >> frankly, it never happened at the national level, at the federal level. >> if you're saying it's a slap in the face, why wait on the federal level? why not attack this problem because if a community is being slapped in the face and treated wrongly, why not take one state at a time. >> let's be fair. in those states the catholic church and other latino organizations have been vocal by decisions made by the state. now we're talking about the is decision made by this administration. a president who claims he's the
friend of latinos. all of a sudden going after the catholic church. you have to understand that latinos are people of faith. the majority are catholic. this is not only an attack on religious freedom, but an attack on their church, on their faith. this is going to become a nightmare for the obama administration. >> would it be a nightmare for mitt romney? under his leadership when he was governor of massachusetts the same or similar rule applied. is it a nightmare for mitt romney? >> well, if he still has that same position, yes, it would be. as we know governor romney has changed his position since then. he's attacked the decision of the obama administration. the problem right now is with the decision from the obama administration. again, it's going to be very hard for the administration to explain this to latinos. you have to understand that lat
latinos are angry at this president. >> we're making this one group. that's wrong, isn't it? >> all lat all latinos don't think the same as you? >> no. >> if we're going to play the numbers game, 78% believe one can be a good catholic without opposing birth control. 98% of catholic women have used birth control. if we play the numbers game then do those voices matter in this debate? >> we're not playing the numbers game. it's not whether you agree or not with birth control. the question is going after the church, infringing on the religious freedom of the catholic church and catholics. >> what i don't understand, what part of this decision says you
cannot have your religious freedom? what part stops an individual from saying you're not able to be a good catholic. you can choose not to use the contraception. we're talking about an incredible number of people who work at catholic hospitals and churches who are not catholic. let's keep it to those that are catholic. . >> it's not about the catholic individual. it's the attach on the institution. >> the institution is the people. the institution is a bad made up of people. >> yeah, you have to understand there is a catholic institution. they run hospitals. they run universities. the federal government for the first time in its history is telling the church you have to provide coverage of birth control and sterilization. >> is there a compromise here that can be made that would satisfy you? >> yeah, allow the catholic
church and catholic institutions to opt out of the that mandate. marco rubio has introduced legislation that would allow catholic affiliated organizations and others who disagree with that mandate to opt out. i think regardless if the administration changes its position, damage has been done. >> damage hasn't been done for mitt romney who changed his position. i don't understand how it's not forgivable and not if it's change here. >> it happened years ago in massachusetts. he's had time to explain the change in his position. obama has just made this decision just a few weeks ago. i think it's very different frankly. >> okay. it's a great pleasure having you on. thank you so much for providing your perspective on this. disturbing new details in the murder/suicide involving josh powell and his two young sons. police say powell meticulously
planned the murders denating the kids toys and tell ming family and friends where to find his money. an autopsy showed the five and seven years boys were injured with a hatchet before their father sparked the explosion. josh powell was the only person of interest in his wife's disappearance in 2009. powell was denied custody only last week. today the boy's grandmother told msnbc that she alerted officials that powell could be violent if he felt cornered. >> i think all those that were working on the case were doing by law what they were able to do or supposed to do for their jobs. i don't think they realized what kind of a person he really was. >> thank you for joining us by
phone. i understand the department is conducting an internal review on what happened here. what is the department examining at this point? >> we'll look at all actions taken during the life the case, which is from september forward. we'll also examine the processes and everything that occurred and determine if there's anything that we need to do to change our policy or practice, and look at anything else we could have done. >> i know this is difficult. obviously, for your staff as well. i keep thinking about the social worker who was there when this happened. there's enough pain to go around here and especially for this family. let me ask you regarding possible threats or any intentions of suicide. the statement from your administration is there was no indication of that. why is it given the
investigation with susan's disappearance and some of the concerns from her family, wouldn't josh powell be able to meet with his children at a location at the department rather than in that home that may have been unstable? >> well, we had no indications of any unstable situation. we had observed the home visits for several months, and had no indication of any harm towards the children. you have to look back at when the children were removed from josh powell's care, he had already had the children with him for two years. there was never reports of abuse or neglect up to that point. the only reason why they came into our care at that point was because he was living with his father who was arrested for another crime and the children were taken into protective custody by law enforcement at
that time and turned over to us. >> what about the fact that one of family members for susan were afraid something like this could happen as were the social workers and the police? there were too many warning signs that were known, but due to legal limits couldn't be acted on. were the hands tied of your administration because of legalities? >> had we had any indication there were going to be harm towards the children or that he was suicidal, we would have put our protocals in place and talked to our attorney, talked to the court and changed how things were working. we did not have anything of any substance, and we had someone who is accused of a crime, but no charges, no record abuse or neglect towards the children. our concern at that time was we didn't know whether the children had been exposed to any of the
grandfather's activities. >> sherry hill, thank you very much. thank you. >> thank you. more pain at the pump for drivers. a new report indicates gas prices could spike 60 cents or more by may. energy analysts say prices could soar as high as $4.66. last month was the most expensive january prices we've seen. the pentagon has decided it's inappropriate to hold parades for iraq vets because american soldiers are fighting another war in afghanistan. later this month president obama will host a dinner at the white house to honor the men and women who served in iraq. give us more details on what the pentagon is saying regarding this information. >> officials say there's some facts being lost in this debate as it's ongoing and growing.
first of all, it was last fall that u.s. forces in iraq as the war was winding down were asked to figure out how to commemorate the end of that war that came in december. it was decided by that group, u.s. military on the ground, not the bureaucrats back here in the pentagon, that it would be inappropriate to conduct a nationwide parade, a rock veterans or military parade in new york at that time because some of those iraq war combatants are still fighting and dying in afghanistan. if new york wants to have a parade, any city wants to have a parade with veterans, they can do it. there's nothing that stops them from doing that. the question comes when the more city asks from participation on the part of the u.s. military.
a couple of weekends ago as we saw in st. louis there was a parade for iraq war veterans and there were some national guard and reserve forces who did march in that parade. once it gets up to new york, that reaches a higher level of participation and it becomes a nationwide event. that not only involves the pentagon because certainly troops are going to get involved in that but even the white house the these are decisions that are yet pending. again, if iraq -- if new york or any other city wants to have a parade with iraq war veterans for iraq war veterans, there's nothing stopping them from doing that. >> thank you so very much. >> thank you. new controversy over that clint eastwood chrysler ad touting detroits big comeback. it turns out it wasn't film in the motor city. we'll tell you where it was
filmed. we'll bring you the results of our text poll. there's a lot going on. here are some things we thought you should know. just a few hours ago, president obama spoke at the white house science fair to celebrate winners from science competitions across the country. the president announced a new plan to train math and science teachers. upcoming budget will ask for $80 million for the training program. the new york city vendor who alerted police to car bomb was running for congress. he's run frg the house of representatives as a democrat. the navy vet says he's had 15 years of experience in city planning and housing. those are the things we thought you should know. [ female announcer ] if whole grain isn't the first ingredient
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blood pressure between your arms is linked to increase risk of pe riff yal artery disease or p.a.d. if detected early it's treatable. i'm martin bashir. coming up, strap in as we ride this republican roller coaster. be momentum and delegates on the line. the tale of two congressmen and one more payroll tax fight. now back to tamron. just for the record, i haven't worked that well with anyone in a very long time. >> ta makes two of us. >> how about a night cap? >> that is actor harry connick junior guest starring on his new role of "law and order".
we brought out the nice graphic. >> that's high end. >> that's how we go big time on "news nation." i think you are absolutely incredible. you're one of my favorites for many reasons. we were elated to know you're coming on. talk to me about this "law and order". you're usually all happy and now you're all special victims unit. >> i've seen the show a few times. without knowing anything about what i was going to do, i said yes. they asked me if i wanted to play a d.a. and my dad was a d.a. in new orleans for 30 years. this would be so cool to get inside any dad's head. he's been a great source of reference for me mp. >> that's pretty good. your character is the love interest for detective benson. tell me a bit about that. is there a twist later on? >> i don't know. they don't really reveal things to me.
>> what? >> i've done three of them. >> he's a good guy so far. >> we'll see. hopefully, he'll stays good. i hope they kill me off because the last thing i want to do is break her heart. she's so loved among the fans. >> you want the easy way out. that happens a lot on svu. you've said that your dad was a big part of convincing you. that's a big deal, a series. that's a big commitment. >> i like that. i like to work. i like to keep twisting things and doing as many creative things as i can. >> can't put harry in a box? >> not really. >> that doesn't sound right any way. part of your crew.
>> they'll be there. i've known hillary for a long time. they are really good friends. i thought that i got the role on svu through some kind of recommendation through hillary or something. it was a weird thing. hillary has always wanted to come to mardi gras. they're both going to come. >> the giants have their big super bowl parade today. you're a saints fan. i'm a cowboys fan. >> i know it's rough. i really keep playing over that saints/giants game that never happened. congratulations to them. >> tlaucongratulations. >> thank you. we're learning more about one of the the most talked about ads. it turns out the clint eastwood spot on detroit's resiliency after the u.s. auto bailout was
not shot in the motor city. chrysler told the "weekly standard" that the tunnel scenes were shot at the coliseum in los angeles and the stadium shots were filmed in new orleans. there were some scenes from detroit but chrysler said none of it was new. yesterday we asked you if the chrysler ad was a veiled endorsement of president obama. 81% said yes. 19% said no. we'll be back with "news nation gut check." apply fixodent once, and it holds all day. ♪ take the fixodent 12 hour hold challenge. guaranteed, or your money back. ♪
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time now for the "news nation gut check." there could be possible compromise to the white house new rule requiring religious institutions to cover contraception as part of employees health care plan. jay carney said the president wants to find an appropriate balance between religious believes and making sure women of all faith have access to
preventative services. catholic leaders, some of them outraged over decisions. the washington post reports a florida pastor who advised the white house on religious issues in the past said there are conversations under way to arrange a meeting to talk about this policy. what does your gut tell you? do you agree with the obama administration's decision to require every health care plan to cover the cost of birth control? go to facebook.com/newsnation. i'm tamron hall. martin bashir is up next.
♪[music plays] ♪[music plays] purina one beyond. food for your cat or dog. good afternoon. it's tuesday, february 7th. here's what's happening. it was the best of times. >> thank you very, very much. you honor me and your honor our cause. >> it was the worst of times. >> a romney nomination would not be in the best interest of us winning the general election. >> how do you stop the